Top 5 Sculptures in Toronto

Photography by Raymundo Moreno

Did you know that we have more than 300 hundred free-standing sculptures in Toronto? Most of them are divided into 2 categories. The ones which are bringing contemporary topics and the other half are the ones which talk about historical episodes. 99 percent of these sculptures are in public spaces in the metropolitan area, so here you have the top 5 sculptures in the six. 

Before we see these 5 sculptures,  I wanna make a short introduction about the sculpture history and what are the characteristics of what is considered sculpture.

The first sculptures that human society had registered are about 33,000 years B.C. commonly carved in bones of animals and ironically shaped in animals. 

From time to time the humans were perfecting this technique. Still, it was until the 4th and 5th centuries, at the start of the classical period, when sculpture started breaking the rigid Egyptian influence and started being more realistic, having what was considered natural and well accepted looking in that time the favourite mediums were marble and bronze. 

Polykleitos (Greek) was one of the leading representatives of sculptors of this time, he introduced a new approach to sculpture, and he was the first of introducing the idea of mathematical proportion using the human body to exemplify that theory he created the “Doryphoros” a human male body sculpture. 

Then we jump to the 16th century with all the incredible work of Michelangelo, being “The David» his most recognized sculpture piece and one of the most famous in the whole history of the society. 

Later we have, what is considered the Modern period in the 19th century, Auguste Rodin. The most famous and recognized in this time and even considered the father of modern sculpture, being “The Thinker” “The kiss” and “The Gates of Hell” his most recognized works.

And last but not least we have in the 20th century when the POP art sculpture and the minimalist appear. The period which personally  I love because it brings a lot of opportunities and new concepts to explore and talk about than before was not well accepted. 

And by the way, there are 4 most common practices to create a sculpture: Moulded, Cast, Carved, and assembled. 

Now let’s see the top 5 sculptures in Toronto which bring so much beauty and life to the city.

“The Audience” 

By the sculptor Michael Snow. Medium: Steels, heavy foam, and fiberglass.

Photography by Jeff Mann 

Located northeast and northwest of the Rogers Centre. 

Approximately 2.5 Million.

This sculpture is composed of 15 characters which reflects the sports culture. The artist has the vision to capture the emotion of the fans being these not only positives but also negatives. 

For The regular fans of the Blue Jay’s games these sculptures are part of the environment, they are no longer impressed but they know by heart that these characters are there. 

The project took the artist 15 months and the artist had to fit the budget of the builders as the total cost shouldn’t be bigger than the 1% of the total cost of the rogers centre.

“Monument to Multiculturalism”

By the artist Francesco Pirelli. Medium: Bronze.

Photography by Raymundo Moreno 

Located at Union station Southside of Front Street. 

This monument represents the Multiculturalism in the city. It was a gift from the Italian Canadian Community to the city of Toronto in 1984 when the city celebrated 150 years with this Name. 

“…multiculturalism is not only positive, but it is a means of developing interreligious dialogue and peaceful collaboration among men of different ancestries and convictions. And that is because its own objective is in fact aimed at overcoming all hatred, both long-standing and nascent. In other words, multiculturalism is conceived as contrary to every racist attitude and fanatical fundamentalism; it stands against every act of terrorism; it is opposed to any evidence, great or small, of overt struggle between individuals, from violence to conflict to genocide;…” F.P.

“Sun Life”

By the artist Sorel Etrog. Medium: Bronze and Granite base.

Photography by Raymundo Moreno 

Located at the northeast corner of King Street and university ave. 

This art piece was created under the request of Sun Life Assurance in 1984, the complexity of this project make the artist explore new ways of creating, this piece is important in his career because this was the first time when he used bronze sheets instead of his previous works where he used to cast the sculpture in bronze from a plaster mold. Sorel spent 3 years finalising the last version of this sculpture. 

“Immigrant Family”

By the artist Tom Otterness. Medium: Bronze.

Photography by Raymundo Moreno 

Located at 18 Yonge Street. 

The artist tried to create a kind of work that people can easily read and don’t make them feel scared. The first idea of this artwork was to create a tourist, but the company who requested this art piece decided to make this sculpture more significant by making them immigrants, where the baby represents a new future and the suitcases represent the history of each immigrant to the city. 

“ I think it is a good purpose of public art that it sort of honours being a newcomer in the country and acknowledges it is an important role to play in the society.”  T.O.


By the artist Jaume Plensa. Medium: Marble and resin.

Photography by Raymundo Moreno 

Located at Richmond-Adelaide Centre.

This public art installation was done under the request of Oxford properties, the artist has the vision to use her art sculpture as an analogy of human dreams for the future and shared human experience. When you walk around this piece it is easy to feel related to the perspective of the artist, you can experience a dreamy sensation of what your eyes are looking at but your brain is trying to process as she uses techniques and perspectives unusual for the human eye.

Also you can read: The art of Von Wong in Toronto

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